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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Staying Calm and Collected as a Vice

In light of your own struggles with sin, how do you feel about Paul's conflict?  [See quote from Romans below.] How is this a model for a healthy, realistic self-image? How is it a model for taking appropriate responsibility? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1575).

Romans 7:15...19  (NIV)

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.... For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 

Laid-back defined:  informal relaxed and easygoing: a shaggy dog with an engaging, laid-back temperament. (New Oxford American Dictionary).

My greatest sinful desire is to be laid-back at all times and at any cost.  I guess I just haven't outgrown my teenage desire to be "cool".  In our car when I was a teen I ran over my dog.  It occurred about two blocks from the house and a peer was present.  I could see Skippy injured, bleeding out of the mouth underneath the car.  Cool me, I sauntered home and told Dad what I had done and if would go take a look while I stayed at the house.  I told him he had better take the rifle.  It looked that bad.  Some minutes later Dad returned to say the dog was already dead.  To this day I regret that during my dog's last moments I was coolly sauntering home to impress myself and my peer rather than comforting Skippy during his last moments.  But boy was I cool!

How many times before and since have I withdrawn my hand from someone in need or turned my head from tragedy just to remain my cool, laid-back self rather than getting mad as hell about some injustice or becoming hotly exercised about some callus criminality in progress.  Being laid-back as a predominant lifestyle has a pervasive dampening and dulling effect on empathy and compassion.  So the devil temps me most not with sensational sin, but with bland, profound complacency.  Having watched 1776, I would say I need to take a daily, double dose of John Adams. 

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